We all have been working through changes in our daily routine, where adjustments in our lives may occur. This can present differently for everyone. In addition, we may exhibit various feelings. As we encounter transitions and changes, we must continue to make sure we are focusing on our thoughts, feelings, and health.
What is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness is described as the practice of paying attention in the present moment, doing it intentionally, and with non-judgment. Mindfulness refers to the deliberate acts of regulating attention through the observation of thoughts, emotions, and body states. Typical mindfulness activities include the following:
· Mindful non-judgmental awareness of breath, body, feelings, emotions and/or thoughts (in sitting meditation practice or throughout the day)
· Mindful walking meditation
· Mindful body scan in a sitting or lying down position
· Listening with non-judgment
How Can Mindfulness Be Beneficial?
· Increased Focus: Improved ability to pay attention, focus and concentrate
· Improved Emotion Regulation: Reduced impulsiveness, improved child behavior
· Increased Emotional Intelligence: Improved conflict resolution skills
· Increased Empathy and Respect: Increased empathy and understanding of others
· Increased Resilience: Increased capacity to overcome challenges
· Improved Physical Well-being: Increased engagement in physical activity
· Improved Creativity & Collaboration: Improved expression of creative arts
· Reduced Stress: Improved ability to manage stress
Ways to Engage in Mindfulness Activities
· Squeeze Muscles: Starting at your toes, pick one muscle, and squeeze it tight. Count to five. Release and notice how your body changes. Repeat exercise moving up your body.
· Belly Breathing: Put one hand on your stomach and one hand on your chest. Slowly breathe in from your stomach (expand like a balloon) and slowly breathe out (deflate).
· Meditation: Sit in a relaxed, comfortable position. Pick something to focus on, like your breath. When your mind wanders, bring your attention back to your breath.
· Blowing Bubbles: Notice their shapes, textures, and colors.
· Coloring: Color something. Focus on the colors and designs.
· Listening to Music: Focus on the whole song or listen specifically to the voice or an instrument.
· Using Mindfulness Videos (here is a few from YouTube listed here):
1). Rainbow Breathing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O29e4rRMrV4;
2). Bring It Down: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bRkILioT_NA;
3). On & Off: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ZP-TMr984s;
4). Melting: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fTzXFPh6CPI;
5). Let’s Unwind-Flow: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k4gkvyZYxb0; and
6). EMDR Guided Meditation “The Tree”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C9bZkCNnppM&t=51s
When engaging in mindfulness, the overall goal is to connect your mind and body, resulting in more peace, balance, focus, and clarity. Overall, mindfulness can increase calmness, physical relaxation, improves psychological balance, and enhances overall health and well-being. Definitely plan to set aside a time daily to engage in a mindfulness activity.